Thursday, May 17, 2007

The forced 'Germanization' of foreign children during WWII

As we all know, during the Nazi Reign, there was a sickening obsession about German racial purity. This lead to a reign of eugenics, where the whole society was geared towards promoting what the Nazis perceived as the 'übermensch' - the so-called Aryan race.

Today, I came across an article about how this affected some children in the occupied areas.

Aryan dreams - Nazi's attempts to build master race included kidnapping foreign children

On a sunny April morning in 1944, 6-year-old Alodia Witaszek was combed and scrubbed, sitting in the children’s home that had primed her for membership in Hitler’s master race.

Over the past year she had been snatched from her family, gone hungry in a concentration camp and been beaten for speaking her native Polish. Now she had a German name, “Alice Wittke,” and a new – German – mother.

“Guten tag, Mutti!” she called in flawless German to the young woman approaching her. Good morning, Mommy.

Only years later would she discover the full truth: that she was among some 250 children seized from their families as part of a Nazi attempt to improve the Aryan gene pool in pursuit of a mad dream of racial purity.

I recommend reading the article. It not only describes a rather uncovered part of the Nazi eugenic attempts, it also explains how it affected the children after the war.

Speaking of Nazi Germany, I should probably use the chance to recommend Eric Muller's excellent posts about his Uncle Leopold, who died during the Holocaust. He has collected them all here

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